Event organizers are calling this year’s 56th Annual Douglas Association for Retarded Citizens (DARC) Mother’s Day Cake Auction, “the best one ever” with 150 assorted cakes, pies and goodies being sold and over $28,000 being raised.

DARC Executive Director Gary Clark said Monday in looking back he believes this year’s amount is the largest ever raised from the auction adding there is still money coming in from the raffle as well as donations.

“That was the smoothest cake auction I have ever run,” DARC President Vicky Merritt said afterwards. “Nothing went wrong. … It was awesome.”

This year’s auction, which was held in the lobby of the Gadsden Hotel, lasted six hours, was dedicated to Linda Gomez, her daughters, Lisa Watkins and Nicole Mariscal along with her granddaughter Paige Mariscal, who kicked off the event serving as the opening auctioneers.

Money from the cake auction will be matched by state funds and then used to purchase items for DARC.

Clark said he is so grateful to live in a community like Douglas that gives so generously year after year.

Garcia Construction of Douglas was the high cake bidder Sunday purchasing a three-layer chocolate cake made by Caitlyn Quijada for $300.

Freeport McMoRan spent $3,000 on various food items all of which are being donated back to various civic organizations in the community. Walmart spent $1,500 and Cox Communications and APS also purchased several cakes that will be shared with their staff and customers.

Clark wanted to thank Anel and Florencio Lopez owners of the Gadsden Hotel for allowing the use of their facility for the cake auction as well KDAP Radio who donated six hours of air time.

“Every year this community really steps up,” Clark said. “This is what makes Douglas so special.”

Merritt added it’s such a joy to live in a community that comes out to support so many different events every year.

“It’s humbling to live in such a place,” she said. “I couldn’t believe how nice everybody was. We had such a great crowd … As I was going home, I was thinking aren’t we lucky that we live in such a wonderful community that they’re willing to support everything in Douglas and do it with such generosity and do it year, after year, after year.”

Merritt said every year when she schedules the volunteers no one ever tells her no; they just show up and help out with such joy.

“Everyone knows their job and they do it and they’re happy about it,” she said. “A lot of our volunteers have literally been doing this for decades. Most of them also bid and buy. Not only do they give their tie they also share their resources with us.”

There was also a silent auction taking place during the cake auction for 11 assorted items that had been donated by various members of the community.

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